Monday, September 22, 2008

blood & bore...


After I watched the first episode of the new TV show "True Blood," I wanted to write something about it, something to the effect of "True Blood is truly awful." Actually, originally it was "True Blood is Truly Bloody awful," but I think it's stupid when Americans try to use British slang (sometimes I think it sounds pretty stupid when British people use it), so I scaled it back some. But I never finished it, because I didn't care that much, and also I figured I'd watch the next couple of episodes to see if the show was really as bad as I thought.

Anway, "True Blood" is truly one of the most awful fucking shows I've ever seen on television. Shit suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. It's kind of like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" if everything kind of original about that show were made really cliched and stupid, all the characters were totally stereotyped and unlikable and, I dunno, if "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was totally idiotic and sucked. No, this show is kind of like "Angel," in that it's really stupid, but unlike "Angel," it doesn't know how stupid it is, so it isn't all campy and funny and stuff. It's just...bad. Really, really bad.

First off, I totally hate Alan Ball. The first few seasons of "Six Feet Under" were good but I think that was just a fluke, and the show quickly, dramatically degenerated from a show about family and mortality to a bunch of fucking horrible unlikable yuppies constantly complaining about their trite, uninteresting sexual dilemmas. "True Blood" has the same kind of adolescent (really, preadolescent in its' thoughtfulness) obsessiveness towards all things sexual, and because the show is set down South, most of the characters are horrible stereotypes of the lusty, decadent, hot blooded hick (or virile/sexually charged ethnic, take your pick what you want to offended by). Basically, there are two kinds of characters 0n this show- those who wanna fuck (and I mean fuck- not have sex, make love, get it on, do it, screw, fool around, mess around, bumping uglies or any of the other, often quite healthy and wholesome varieties of intercourse a mature adult is likely to encounter during the course of his or her lifetime) and those who haven't been educated yet that fucking is the primary purpose for all narrative drama, according to the southern gospel of Alan Ball. Oh, and by the way, just setting your show, or film or novel or whatever, in New Orleans doesn't automatically grant your work relevance if you don't have anything to say about New Orleans, even if you do have the Chomsky-esque political insight to have one of your African-American characters mention FEMA.

There's really nothing good about this show at all. The main story of the show is a really tired retreated of the Buffy-Angel good girl meets tortured nice guy vampire with a dark past from the first few seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the soapy operatics still aren't all that interesting. The supporting cast seems to be mainly culled from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog (or WB/CW teen drama, if you will), giving the raunchy bayou settings all the gritty realism of, well, an Ambercombie and Fitch catalog or WB teen drama. The minority characters are painfully, painfully stereotyped, really offensively so, especially the main character's "sassy black friend," a stereotype that you think would have gotten old by now, but no, Tara (played by Rutina Wesley) so sassy, "talk to the hand"-y, "On no she didn't"-y, "Is that cuz I'm black?"-y that one suspects writer Ball consulted his local KKK chapter for insights into crafting believable minority characters.

The one thing I kind of like about this show is star Anna Paquin. Whether it's because she's a good actress or because she kind of gives me a boner is one for the ages to decide, but her gap toothiness is totally cute. Did you know she's not from New Zealand? I assumed, because her first big role was in "The Piano." But, no, she's Canadian. Anyway, maybe it's because her character on the show isn't the only one permanently obsessed with their genitalia and what to cram it into (or to cram into it, or whatever) next, she comes off kind of likable. But then, that's the problem with this show's dichotomistic approaching to human sexuality- you're either prostitute (literally- at least three of the characters are so far) or a virgin. Or, you know, an old personally who occasionally says something spicy because it's funny when old ladies swear. Or a mopey vampire with his shirt unbuttoned down to the middle, because that's how vampires dress.

Anyway, if you considering starting to watch this show, save your time and just punch yourself in the face instead. Is there anything not horrible coming on TV this season? I kinda like "the Connor Chronicles," because it has kind of a cyberpunk vibe, and also the boner factor (Summer Glau from "Firefly") and I can see myself watching "90210" until I remember that I don't give a fuck about teenagers (it's just a dumb and campy as the original series). I guess "Heroes" is coming back on, but I don't really care. Seriously, man, this is the videographic window into the collective concerns and obsessions of a people at war, on the edge of financial collapse, and facing what could be a relative cultural revolution, or a commitment to our ultimate self-immolation under the sludge of late capitalism, so where's the good TV shit? "Battlestar Galactica," that's what I'm talking about. When things get rough, there's usually some good shows about death to be found. Are "Reaper" and "Pushing Daisies" coming back? What else? The televisual landscape seems about as grim as, well, real life, and who wants to live like that, or whatever?

You know what's awesome, though? I used the word "boner" twice in this write up. Also I was watching the new episode of Connor Chronicles while I was writing this and one of the characters says to another," You're the yarn lover, yarn lover," which I thought was really funny. Boner city.

2 comments:

Blue Sunflower said...

Ha! I heard the same thing about "True Blood" from some of my friends too! And Reaper will start after Smallville goes on hiatus after 10 episodes. We're still debating on when exactly that will be. If you want more information, please feel free to check out the Reaper DMV, since we've got all the info there.

harris smith said...

Awesome, thanks. Glad to hear that "Reaper" is coming back. I forgot about "Smallville." That used to be an okay show but in the last couple seasons it seems like they're not really trying anymore, so they just keep adding new hot female characters in the hopes that nobody will notice. Is this their last season?